Red Cross volunteers are digging for survivors and supporting distraught families in the wake of heavy flooding and mudslides that have ripped through Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown.

Current estimates indicate that as many as 3,000 have been made homeless, although this figure is expected to rise as the picture becomes clearer.

Abdul Nasir, the Programme Coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has been working alongside these teams, and has described the devastation:

In places, entire communities seem to have been washed away and whatever is left is covered in mud,” he said. “Red Cross volunteers have been on site since this morning and have been digging with their bare hands and whatever tools available to find survivors. They are also caring for and helping family members who are desperately waiting for news of their loved ones.”

The mudslides come following three days of torrential rains. Communication lines and electricity have been disrupted and the full extent and damage from the mudslides have yet to be determined.